Tacos Acapulco: 'This is the Real Stuff'
Ramon Picazo talks about running his authentic Mexican restaurant.
They say you can judge a good restaurant by the bread it serves. At a Mexican restaurant, it's the tortilla chips and salsa. If they're not good, it's like having a great band with a bad drummer.
At Tacos Acapulco, owner and chef Ramon Picazo says he makes sure the food is authentic Mexican from start to finish.
"The salsa is homemade," said Picazo. "There is nothing from a jar. We prepare it here every day, homemade chips and salsa. I prepare the chips myself."
In January, Picazo celebrates his fourth year as a restaurant owner along with his wife, Reyna Rodriguez, and family. Growing up in Mexico, and then California, his mom owned a restaurant. Though Picazo said he "learned a little from my mom," most of his skills came to him through osmosis.
For some, owning a restaurant is a dream. Picazo doesn't quite put it that way. But, it'll do.
"Well, it's something like that," laughs Picazo. "I guess it's something like a dream. I worked at companies before. This is not a real dream, though. I dream of being a millionaire and doing nothing."
Maybe he's not living the millionaire dream, but Picazo said he has managed to survive the economic downturn by keeping some very loyal customers by serving authentic, fresh food.
"This is not Taco Bell," he said. "People who come here come here all the time. As soon as we get a new customer, they stay. So many restaurants opened at the same time as me and they are going out of business. People love my food. It's real, and they like the flaor. Everything is fresh and that's what people love. When people order guacomole, I make it when the customer orders it. I don't pick it out from the fridge."
As with any business owner, the economy concerns him. Picazo is, like many, in survival mode.
"I'm not doing well, but I'm not doing bad," said Picazo. "Some days are good, and some are medium. The way you hear the president talk ... Obama promised everything. He did nothing he promised he would do. I wouldn't have paid a dollar for either of the candidates. I do like what I'm doing, and I want to keep doing this."